Danny Almonte Scandal: Cheating, Banned And Where Is He Now?

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The overage cheating scandal of Danny Almonte shook the Little League World Series of 2001. Danny became the victim of heavy repercussions, turning his career upside down.

Danny Almonte’s cheating scandal still ranks among the most groundbreaking revelations in the history of baseball.

Although the event was not in a major league, it raised many questions about the credibility and welfare of other players.

Moreover, Danny Almonte couldn’t succeed later in his career; one such scandal ruined his life.

Danny Almonte Pitching For The Bronx
Danny Almonte Pitching For The Bronx (Source: Yahoo! Sports)

Danny Almonte Rojas, born in 1987, is a former baseball player from Moca, Dominican Republic. He played the role of a pitcher in his relatively short youth career.

He moved to New York to live with his father, who had settled six years earlier. There, young Danny started playing Little League Baseball with The Bronx.

Danny could throw at an insane speed of around 76-79 miles per hour and became a sensation, winning the respect of top recruiters all over the league.

For his impressive pitching speed, he earned the nickname “Little Unit,” an ode to Randy Johnson, the Big Unit.

Moreover, he led his team to a third-place finish in the 2001 Little League World Series.

Danny Almonte Cheating Scandal: Punishment

The cheating scandal story starts in the 2001 Little League Series, where the age limit for the players was 12.

However, Danny’s antics and appearances raised a suspicion that he was older than 12.

One Of The Main Culprits Of The Scandal, Rolando Paulino
One Of The Main Culprits Of The Scandal, Rolando Paulino (Source: New York Daily News)

So few private investigators started to look into the players’ ages. Despite the president of the league Rolando Paulino, and the Dominican officials insisting on Danny being 12, the truth was later revealed.

In 1994, Danny’s father, Filipe, registered his birthdate as April 7, 1987, which would make him 14 at the time of the series.

Furthermore, Danny’s parents went to the last extent to prove he was 12, with his father appearing on Good Morning America to plead for his son’s innocence.


Dominican officials proved the cheating, and Danny was deemed ineligible to play. Along with that, all his team’s tournament victories and money were cleared.

The league also banned President Paulino. However, Danny’s father, Filipe, was the main culprit of the fiasco.

Furthermore, the Dominican authorities charged Filipe with illegal registration and falsification of birth certificates, and the league banned him for life. 

ESPN’s Jim Caple called Felipe “the worst stereotype of the Little League parent sprung to life.”

However, Danny, since he was a kid and didn’t know English, had no involvement in the scandal, so he was cleared of all charges.

Danny Almonte: Life After Scandal. Where Is He Now?

Even after the scandal, Danny continued to play. He played for James Monroe High School in the Bronx.

Furthermore, after failing in the 2006 draft, he played for New Mexico Junior College and later pitched in an independent minor league circuit for Southern Illinois Miners. 

Danny Almonte Now
Danny Almonte Now (Source: NY Post)

Lastly, he joined Western Oklahoma State College and showcased an excellent performance as one of the top hitters.

Despite all this, Almonte failed to gain success in the MLB Draft. With his MLB dream dead, Danny Almonte, the victim of an infamous scandal, transitioned into coaching.

He started at his own James Monroe High School as an assistant coach and currently holds the same position at Cardinal Hayes High School.


Agraj Bhatta

Agraj Bhatta is a sports enthusiast with a talent for capturing the essence of athletes' journeys through his writing. His articles offer readers a glimpse into the world of sports, from the adrenaline-fueled highs of victory to the heart-wrenching lows of defeat.


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  • Agraj looks back on the careers of legendary athletes celebrating their achievements.
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Agraj's passion for sports journalism is fueled by a lifelong love of athletics and competition. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, he brings a unique perspective to his articles, capturing the highs and lows of the sports world with honesty and insight.

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